What’s the best cold-weather sport? It’s hockey. What’s the best cold-weather movie genre? It’s Christmas movies. What’s the best sports content one can consume during the cold-weather months and specifically the holiday season?
Of course, it’s cold-weather movies as cold-weather sport — content!
The point is, we’ve got some sports-themed holiday content to get you to the end of the week. Ever wonder what Christmas movies are closely related to hockey players, teams and the sport in general? No way! Why would you? You’ve got a life and more important things to think about it.
I, however, do not. So here we go.
The plot: Self-involved and inattentive parents leave their child home alone (hence the title) to fend for himself. He is forced to fight for his life as two burglars try to break into the home and murder him.
The hockey thing: Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Arizona Coyotes
Why: All this very nice boy wants is to be noticed by the people around him, but he’s ignored. Ekman-Larsson’s cheese pizza is a Norris Trophy and he’s never going to get it unless everyone else goes away. Ownership is Buzz, tormenting him for no good reason. Have you seen the Coyotes’ record? Woof!
The plot: A man, possessed with the Christmas spirit, must rescue his wife from a hostage situation and prevent a heist. He’s left to combat these terrorists in his bare feet with nothing but a couple guns and some old-fashioned American ingenuity.
The hockey thing: Donald Fehr, NHLPA executive director
Why: Some of these are going to be self-explanatory, aren’t they? But think about it. He’s an outsider. He gets dropped into a situation with men trying to steal money from people. Holly represents hockey fans. Does Fehr drop anyone off a building? No, but there’s definitely a parallel between former NHL executive director Paul Kelly’s demise and the demise of Ellis.
A CHRISTMAS STORY
The plot: A child who may hate his family is desperate for a toy gun. Along the way, he has to battle with bullies, a department store Santa and a relative that wants to embarrass him with a pink bunny suit.
The hockey thing: Chicago Blackhawks
Why: Every Christmas, TBS runs this movie for 24 consecutive hours. They’ve been doing this for years. If any team in the NHL can relate to being on TV far too often for too many years, it’s the Blackhawks.
The plot: A well-meaning and misunderstood television executive is forced to face his past, present and future while trying to oversee a live version of A Christmas Carol. Despite having a really cool life, he changes his ways so he can date a woman he knew like 25 years earlier.
The hockey thing: Mark Lazarus, NBC Sports chairman
Why: Because at some point, we can only hope, he will be forced to answer for Pierre McGuire. Hopefully, the three ghosts that visit him — Howard Cosell, Bill Clement and Linda Cohn — show him the error of his ways. Lazarus will end up hiring the Karen Allen of hockey broadcasting — universally loved and been around forever — Darren Pang.
The plot: A bunch of terrible dudes with bad intentions for one-dimensional women futz around in a series of stories that are loosely connected, but lack cohesion. It’s one of the best movies ever made.
The hockey thing: Florida Panthers
Why: The Panthers have old guys, young guys, overpaid guys, a mish-mash of guys in the front office and none of it makes any sense, but people seem to like it. The same way you can’t draw a straight line from Liam Neeson to Laura Linney, no one knows how Tom Rowe and Dale Tallon get along at this point.
The plot: An abandoned child with no social skills and a learning disability grows up and tries to unite with the father he never knew. He stalks a woman at work in the shower and is so desperate to find love that he abandons his beliefs when things get too rough.
The hockey thing: John Tortorella
Why: I’m not saying he sat in the locker room singing while Ryan Johansen showered after practice, but he definitely did something to drive him away. There’s something there when it comes to Buddy’s love of “Christmas spirit” and Tortorella’s love of “the right way.” One makes a sleigh fly and other has gotten the Blue Jackets off the ground. Both are magic.
The plot: In an attempt to save money, a man decides on a stay-at-home holiday vacation. One calamity after another befalls the family, including an in-law emptying fecal matter into the local sewer system.
The hockey thing: Carolina Hurricanes
Why: I don’t know. It makes sense though, doesn’t it? The Hurricanes are 30th in payroll. The lights on Clark Griswold’s house not working feels like the ice not working this week. A family member dumping crap into the sewer feels like everything happening with the Karmanos family. Plus, there’s all the Staals that have come through Carolina. This works. I feel it.
THE FAMILY MAN
The plot: A wealthy man is given a “glimpse” into another life with an old girlfriend, a more humble life. After an adjustment period, he begins to love his family life more than his rich executive life. This sounds like Scrooged, but it’s not.
The hockey thing: Jaromir Jagr
Why: The KHL was his Tea Leoni. He got to play closer to home for a boatload of tax-free money. Wait, so the tax-free money was his Tea Leoni. After a brief stay in Russia, he had to return to his old NHL life without his true love — tax-free money. But like with any happy story, Jagr has found his new Tea Leoni — Florida and its lack of a personal income tax.
HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS
The plot: Tired of the commercialization of Christmas, one brave hero attempts to “steal” Christmas from a local town. He takes everything from them not for any malicious reasons, but because he knows what’s best for them.
The hockey thing: The 2004-05 lockout
Why: Gary Bettman is the Grinch. Whoville is the NHLPA. He took away their money the way the Grinch took away Christmas. But in the end, despite having all their personal possessions taken away unfairly, the players still sing and celebrate. I don’t know why. They should lock up the Grinch, or at the very least ask that he remove the salary cap.
The plot: A really cool dude that loves Christmas dedicates his life to working in malls as a Santa Claus. He has lots of sex, drinks a ton and eventually eats sandwiches. At the very end, he gets screwed out of what was rightfully his by the person closest to him.
The hockey thing: Phil Kessel, Pittsburgh Penguins
Why: Because can’t you see Kessel in a Santa suit having sex in a car while wearing a Santa suit? Well, now you’re seeing it and you can’t get it out of your head. You’re welcome. Sidney Crosby stealing the Conn Smythe is like Marcus screwing over Willie. As for the sandwiches…come on. You know Phil loves sandwiches because he loves hot dogs, which are sandwiches.